About El Chorro

An iconic Arizona destination for dining, drinks, and unforgettable milestones.

The Best Stories Aren’t Told, They’re Lived

Hard to define but you know it when you see it, character abounds at the old El Chorro. What makes it so undeniably iconic? Perhaps it’s a combination of its evocative desert setting, its history of hosting legendary characters (and legendarily good times), and its ability to endure through time without losing its spark of originality. That, and the stories — some true, some not — but all tall tales worth hearing and retelling.

To truly understand the El Chorro, you have to go back to the beginning, which was as inauspicious as they come. It all began in 1934 when John C. Lincoln started building Camelback Inn. Without a proper school nearby, Lincoln needed a place for his daughters to continue their education. And so it was that El Chorro began as a one-room schoolhouse for girls, connected to the inn by a modest dirt path.

Years later in 1937, under the ownership of Jan and Mark Gruber, the detached schoolhouse transformed into a watering hole for Camelback Inn’s guests. As the inn did not serve alcohol at the time, that same dirt path was traversed by those who were thirsty for spirits and some old-fashioned revelry. Down the path they walked, surrounded by the scent of juniper smoke and the inviting sounds of conviviality.

You might say it was during this time that the larger-than-life character of El Chorro began to form — fused with the spirit of the West, warmed by the big-hearted Grubers who welcomed one and all, and made into the stuff of legends by the colorful characters who strode through its doors.

Photo of Jan and Mark Gruber Photo of Jan and Mark Gruber

Character Attracts Character, and Characters…

El Chorro thrived under the Grubers’ ownership, becoming a sought-after destination during the 1950s for Arizona families, local personalities, and world-famous celebrities who crossed the desert in search of something a little less ordinary. Clark Gable, Milton Berle, and other prominent figures visited the lodge in its early days, to name but a few. The traditions formed during this time would endure long after.

Over the years, new owners added their own character and tradition to El Chorro, expanding its capacity from 70 to 200 seats. While the lodge grew and evolved, each owner seemed to understand that there was something vital and important about the place that needed preserving and protecting. And so it was that while the faces changed, the essence of El Chorro remained undiluted and the legend continued to grow.

Ladies gathering Ladies gathering

Legends Only Grow Better with Time

Most recently, in July 2021, Grossman Company Properties and Marc & Rose Hospitality acquired El Chorro, adding to their distinguished list of restaurants and resorts throughout Arizona and California. Locally, the portfolio includes The Scott Resort & Spa and on-site restaurant The Canal Club, Arizona Grand Resort & Spa, and the new High Country Motor Lodge in Flagstaff. Marc & Rose Hospitality specializes in boutique service, elevated design, and uniquely curated experiences.

Today, El Chorro exists as a welcoming beacon of originality that calls to different folks in different ways. In they come from across the sand, each in search of something unique, but all united in their pursuit of the vital spark of life well-lived and stories well told. Whoever you are, at El Chorro you’ll find character that calls to you, rhymes with you, and always feels like home. So come one, come all, and if you come curious, you’re bound to leave interesting.

Paradise Valley Marc and Rose

Honored with 'Leed'
Green Certification

Arizona Landscape

With some of the country’s most picturesque views at its doorstep, preservation of natural resources is an integral part of El Chorro’s mission.

As part of the renovation of the historic Paradise Valley facilities, El Chorro incorporated a number of green-building features, including a solar-energy water heating system and solar electric panels that reduce the restaurant’s energy use by more than 50 percent. It also features eco-friendly insulation made of recycled blue jeans. More than 75 percent of the materials used in the redesign were salvaged from the original restaurant, including 80+ of the original plants.

Because of this dedication to sustainability, El Chorro became the first restaurant in Arizona to earn the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Environmental and Energy Design (LEED) Gold Certification. This designation is the only universally recognized green-building pedigree, with the Gold Certification being the second-highest level attainable.

Under the ownership of Marc & Rose Hospitality, El Chorro joins 1% for the Planet, an ongoing commitment to environmental responsibility and sustainability. 1% for the Planet is a globally-recognized alliance of businesses that understand the necessity of protecting the natural environment. Marc & Rose Hospitality was the network’s first ever hotel management company to join.

El Chorro is proud to represent the crossroads at which 21st century ideals meld with beloved heritage. We can’t wait for you to enjoy this historic Paradise Valley fine dining experience.

Arizona Landscape